Date: 11th November 2021
ON THE SUSPENSION OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL
OF THE AUDIT SERVICE SIERRA LEONE
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is concerned about the sudden indefinite suspension of the Auditor General of the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL), Mrs. Lara Taylor-Pearce, and one of her deputies Mr. Tamba Momoh.
This action is particularly worrying because, in the estimation of SLAJ, the ASSL under the leadership of Lara Taylor Pearce has a hitherto unblemished track record of professionalism and integrity in the discharge of its duties spanning over ten years and two political administrations.
Be that as it may, while we respect the authority of His Excellency the President to hire, suspend, or fire, we urge that in line with constitutional provisions, in Sections 119, sub-section 9 and Section 137 respectively, the Attorney General immediately makes public the composition of the Tribunal along with clearly stated Terms of Reference, and a short timeframe as would be most appropriate for the Tribunal to function.
Already the action has created a level of uncertainty within the local governance circles which we understand is being closely monitored by not only our international friends but also the donor community whose contribution to our fledgling economy cannot be underestimated.
While we wait for the outcome of the tribunal, which we expect in the shortest possible time, we regret that considering the recent impressive statistics on control of corruption in the just-released MCC Scorecard, this government can by this action seek to overturn all those gains in less than 24 hours.
SLAJ is concerned that given the severe economic constraints facing most citizens, decisions are being taken that are creating undue disaffection, confusion, and distrust. We urge the government to maintain the independence and integrity of our institutions and continue to give hope to the people of Sierra Leone.
Alhaji Manika Kamara
Acting Secretary General